Tag Archives: mass

Mussels Cramped by Environmental Factors

The fibrous threads helping mussels stay anchored – in spite of waves that sometimes pound the shore with a force equivalent to a jet liner flying at 600 miles per hour – are more prone to snap when ocean temperatures climb higher than normal.

Emily Carrington, a University of Washington professor of biology, reported Saturday (Feb. 16) that the fibrous threads she calls “nature’s bungee cords” become 60 percent weaker in water that was 15 degrees F (7 C) above typical summer temperatures where the mussels were from. She spoke at the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Boston. (more…)

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Higgs Boson Discussion Launches UChicago Discovery Series

The long-sought Higgs boson—the particle that endows all elementary particles in the universe with mass—was elusive no longer when scientists at the CERN physics laboratory in Switzerland, discovered it last summer.

The July 4, 2012 announcement of the discovery appealed to both the general public and the media: Fifty-five media organizations and more than one billion television viewers made it an event that couldn’t be missed. Time even dubbed the Higgs boson “Particle of the Year.” (more…)

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Secret of Scent Lies in Molecular Vibrations

Molecular vibrations, rather than molecular shape, give substances their distinct smell according to a new study by UCL scientists.

In a study designed to find out how smell is written into a molecule’s structure, scientists tested whether changing how a molecule vibrates on a nano-scale changes its smell.

Molecules are made of atoms connected by bonds. The arrangement of bonds and atoms defines the vibration of the molecule. Chemists can therefore identify molecules by their vibrations, using a spectroscope. (more…)

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The Supernova That Cried Wolf

A luminous supernova in a galaxy 67 million light years away from us has finally exploded for good, a UA-led team of astronomers has discovered. This event sheds light on how massive stars end their lives.

Astronomers have announced that a massive star, which they have watched repeatedly mimic a supernova since 2009, has finally exploded for real.

The report was presented at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Long Beach, Calif. by Jon Mauerhan of the Steward Observatory at the University of Arizona, in collaboration with Nathan Smith, also of the UA, and Alex Filippenko of the University of California, Berkeley.

The result is of special interest because it provides new critical information on the final death throes of massive stars in the years leading up to their explosion. The work has been accepted for publication in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. (more…)

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Testing Einstein’s E=mc2 in Outer Space

UA physicist Andrei Lebed has stirred the physics community with an intriguing idea yet to be tested experimentally: The world’s most iconic equation, Albert Einstein’s E=mc2, may be correct or not depending on where you are in space.

With the first explosions of atomic bombs, the world became witness to one of the most important and consequential principles in physics: Energy and mass, fundamentally speaking, are the same thing and can, in fact, be converted into each other.

This was first demonstrated by Albert Einstein’s Theory of Special Relativity and famously expressed in his iconic equation, E=mc2, where E stands for energy, m for mass and c for the speed of light (squared). (more…)

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Bright Stars to Black Holes: UA Astronomer Awarded for Her Research

In addition to being selected as one of 50 scholars awarded fellowships each year at the prestigious Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University, the UA’s Feryal Ozel has won the 2013 American Physical Society’s Maria Goeppert Mayer Award for her cutting-edge research on neutron stars.

Feryal Ozel studies two things most people don’t think about everyday: neutron stars and black holes.

An associate professor of astronomy at the University of Arizona, Ozel has won the 2013 American Physical Society’s Maria Goeppert Mayer Award for her work on neutron stars and her dedication to public outreach and education in science and astronomy. In addition, this year she is completing a prestigious fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University. Ozel came to the UA in 2003 as a NASA Hubble fellow and began a faculty position in 2005. (more…)

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Texas Astronomers Measure Most Massive, Most Unusual Black Hole Using Hobby-Eberly Telescope

FORT DAVIS, Texas — Astronomers have used the Hobby-Eberly Telescope at The University of Texas at Austin’s McDonald Observatory to measure the mass of what may be the most massive black hole yet — 17 billion times our sun’s mass — in galaxy NGC 1277. The unusual black hole makes up 14 percent of its galaxy’s mass, rather than the usual 0.1 percent. This galaxy and several more in the same study could change theories about how black holes and galaxies form and evolve. The work will appear in the journal Nature on Nov. 29.

NGC 1277 lies 220 million light-years away in the constellation Perseus. The galaxy is only 10 percent the size and mass of our Milky Way. Despite NGC 1277’s diminutive size, the black hole at its heart is more than 11 times as wide as Neptune’s orbit around the sun. (more…)

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